With this concept, the Max Planck Society has established a firm place for itself among the leading research institutes in the world. Since the founding of the Max Planck Society in 1948 quite a number of Max Planck scientists have been honored nationally and internationally with high-ranking awards. To date, 45 of them have been awarded the Leibniz Prize, the highest German research prize. It is not by accident that the Max Planck Society is known as the “forge of Nobel prizewinners”: Since 1948, seventeen Max Planck Society researchers have received the coveted laurel from Stockholm.
About 80 percent of the budget of the Max Planck Society comes from public funding, with equal amounts coming from Germany’s federal government and the respective state government.
In addition, the Max Planck Society receives funding for specific projects from the state and federal governments as well as from the European Union (14 percent of the total budget). The Society’s own earnings, membership fees and donations amount to about five percent.
Research in the Society
Despite the extensive public funding, the Max Planck Society is not a public/state institution. It has the legal form of a registered association with its legal seat in Berlin; the Office of the President and the Administrative Headquarters of the Max Planck Society are located in Munich.
The legal entity responsible for the Society is comprised of the more than 760 supporting members, honorary members, as well as ex officio members and the scientific members appointed to the Max Planck Society. As a general rule, the scientific members are directors of a Max Planck Institute.